House Watson
House Watson, Camps Bay
PROJECT   Images
The existing bungalow situated on Third Beach, Clifton, Cape Town stood on the site for more than fifty years. The urban design provides for a preservation of the existing fabric, so any new structures have to preserve the ghost of history, by being built within the form occupied by the original bungalow.

The house, with minor variations, fulfils this design requirement through the incorporation of a lower ground level. The significant slope of the ground made possible the addition of an entire new floor with low lying windows, without affecting the outline defined by the original bungalow.

The upper superstructure recreates the historic notion of a timber house. The central space is identified by four circular timber columns supporting the open roof structure. The walls are clad using two hundred millimetre timber boarding on both external and internal faces.

The balcony extends the use of timber elements using circular columns enforcing the modular design concept of the two levels. Sliding and folding timber shutters ensure flexible shading to the west setting sun to be utilised depending on the time of day and year.

A pool room, swimming pool and landscaped features to the north of the house are all integrated into the very steep topography of the site.

The use of natural materials in a marine environment will ensure a timeless and enriching patina to develop over time.

The project is one which uses design that makes creative use of existing urban design restrictions, and attains quality through careful proportioning of space and architectural elements and in the manner the natural materials have been meticulously detailed to help keep alive a tradition of excellence in building craft.